Study Guide

Persepolis Chapter 30

By Marjane Satrapi

Chapter 30

The Joke

  • Marjane doesn't want to see her extended family, but they want to see her. It's like being forced to go a buffet for lunch when all you want is an appetizer.
  • She's also having trouble relating to her old friends. Now all her friends want to do is go to clubs and find a husband. This isn't Marjane's scene.
  • Despite seeing so many people in such a short period of time, she feels alone.
  • Her mother mentions a friend Marjane hasn't seen: Kia. He was forced to serve in the military and was disabled. Marjane decides to go visit him.
  • On the way there, she becomes worried that she won't be able to relate to him either.
  • Kia is in a wheelchair and has no limbs on the left side of his body, but he remains optimistic and hopes to get prosthetics soon.
  • Once Marjane gets over her initial shock, she and Kia catch up and joke like they never grew apart.
  • She tells us that she saw him a few more times before he left for the U.S. and they grew apart again.
  • The lesson she learned sticks with her, though: "The only way to bear the unbearable is to laugh at it" (30.69).

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